Comparison of Machine Learning Methods for Life Trajectory Analysis in Demography
Nowadays there are representative volumes of demographic data which are the sources for extraction of demographic sequences that can be further analysed and interpreted by domain experts. Since traditional statistical methods cannot face the emerging needs of demography, we used modern methods of pattern mining and machine learning to achieve better results. In particular, our collaborators, the demographers, are interested in two main problems: prediction of the next event in a personal life trajectory and finding interesting patterns in terms of demographic events for the gender feature.
The main goal of this paper is to compare different methods by accuracy for these tasks. We have considered interpretable methods such as decision trees and semi- and non-interpretable methods, such as the SVM method with custom kernels and neural networks. The best accuracy results are obtained with a two-channel convolutional neural network. All the acquired results and the found patterns are passed to the demographers for further investigation.